I am pleased that we were able to facilitate Chen Guangcheng’s stay and departure from the U.S. Embassy in a way that reflected his choices and our values. I was glad to have the chance to speak with him today and to congratulate him on being reunited with his wife and children.
Mr. Chen has a number of understandings with the Chinese government about his future, including the opportunity to pursue higher education in a safe environment. Making these commitments a reality is the next crucial task. The United States Government and the American people are committed to remaining engaged with Mr. Chen and his family in the days, weeks, and years ahead.
MSNBC has a weird report about China censoring certain words during this drama that include “Shawshank”, “blind person”, “embassy”, and “Dongshigu,” where Chen is from, as well as “UA898,” the direct flight from Beijing to Washington.
Also from MSNBC we get a sense of the displeasure of Chinese officials:
BEIJING – [...] China’s Foreign Ministry said it was extremely unhappy the embassy had taken Chen in. “It must be pointed out that the United States Embassy took the Chinese citizen Chen Guangcheng into the embassy in an irregular manner, and China expresses its strong dissatisfaction over this,” ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said in a statement carried by China’s Xinhua news service. Chinese crackdown on dissident’s family and friends
“The U.S. method was interference in Chinese domestic affairs, and this is totally unacceptable to China. China demands that the United States apologize over this, thoroughly investigate this incident, punish those who are responsible, and give assurances that such incidents will not recur,” the statement said.
We’ll have to see if the Chinese keep their word on Chen.
But it looks like Secy. Hillary Clinton has made a friend for life.
After leaving the embassy, Chen spoke to Clinton by phone, expressing his gratitude to her and saying in broken English that he wanted to kiss her, according to a U.S. official, who said the situation was “very emotional” for the staff involved.